Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner says he wishes he’d fought against Bill Clinton’s impeachment by Republicans

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton shakes hands with House Speaker John Boehner at the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall on Inauguration day at the U.S. Capitol building January 21, 2013 in Washington D.C.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton shakes hands with House Speaker John Boehner at the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall on Inauguration day at the U.S. Capitol building January 21, 2013 in Washington D.C.

  • John Boehner, the former Republican House Speaker, wrote in his forthcoming memoir that he regrets supporting former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
  • He argued that the impeachment was a political effort by his party to win House seats in the midterms.
  • “I regret it now,” Boehner wrote of Clinton’s impeachment. “I regret that I didn’t fight against it.”
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John Boehner, the former Republican House Speaker, wrote in his forthcoming memoir that he regrets supporting former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, which he said was a purely political effort.

Clinton’s 1998 impeachment for lying about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky was orchestrated by Texas Rep. Tom DeLay, the second highest-ranking Republican in the House at the time, Boehner wrote.

“I know what we all said at the time: Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath,” Boehner wrote, according to an excerpt of “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” obtained by The Washington Post and The New York Times. “In my view, Republicans impeached him for one reason and one reason only – because it was strenuously recommended to us by one Tom DeLay.”

He added: “Tom believed that impeaching Clinton would win us all these House seats, would be a big win politically, and he convinced enough of the membership and the GOP base that this was true.”

Clinton’s impeachment didn’t end up helping the GOP in the midterms – the party lost five House seats in 1998.

Boehner concedes that he supported the impeachment effort – the House ultimately impeached Clinton on two charges before the Senate acquitted him – but now regrets it. He added that Clinton likely committed perjury, but that “lying about an affair to save yourself from embarrassment isn’t the same as lying about an issue of national security.”

“I was on board at the time,” Boehner wrote. “I won’t pretend otherwise. But I regret it now. I regret that I didn’t fight against it.”

Boehner takes aim at his own party throughout the book, saving his most scathing criticism for members of the right-wing Tea Party. He called Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, “dangerous” and a “reckless asshole.” And he wrote that former President Donald Trump “incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November.”

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